Brian McFarland is back with Ken McKusick to go over player evaluation after the first 7 weeks of Baltimore Ravens Football.
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Thanks for putting together this team evaluation. I could not agree more with you on your comments regarding Judon. If you go back to the 2017 season after which we lost a lot of defensive talent to free agency, the Ravens were forced to make a series of adjustments to stay competitive at the elite level on defense. One of these changes has ultimately forced Judon into a role which underutilizes his talent by using him almost exclusively as a pass rusher. With the trade for Ngakoue, Judon can now attain his full potential by taking on a more diverse role in the Ravens defense. Any NFL team would be happy to have Judon on their starting defense and we should show more respect for what he has accomplished under difficult circumstances.
As far as the frustration with sacks, I think people are just stuck on the KC loss where the Ravens blitz to no effect against Mahomes and the KC offensive line. Lost in all of this is the preseason pronouncement by the NFL to officials to be conservative with the whistles. This has led to fewer holding calls and, frustratingly, a more selective calling of holding which is biasing games. The number of sacks by all defenses through seven weeks of the 2020 season is down about 8%. Typically, the number of sacks league wide is a very stable number season too season. The change from 2019 to 2020 has been accelerating as it was down only 6% after three games but has now fallen to 8% after seven games. In light of this, the Ravens increase in season over season sacks is especially impressive. I think it demonstrates to flexibility of the Ravens defensive scheme and the deep talent across the defensive unit. Personally, I an looking forward to seeing how Judon finishes out the season.
Great thoughts on the changes in sack rate and how the Ravens have avoided some of it with scheme. I’m also excited to see how Judon works with Ngakoue in weeks 9 and on when the Ravens will face some QBs prone to holding the ball a little longer.